Fewer travel, hospitality and leisure (THL) companies than expected have seen a benefit from the Olympic Games.
Research by Deloitte, the official professional services provider to London 2012, shows 68% of respondents in the THL sectors are reporting an increase in demand and 18% a decline.
However, when surveyed in January, 80% of THL businesses were hopeful of an Olympic boost.
Deloitte says the Games is ‘providing a net positive impact to large businesses in London, although not to the extent many had anticipated’.
Across all sectors, 42% of companies have reported an increase in business since the start of the Games and 27% a decrease.
But when questioned in January, 80% of respondents anticipated an increase and just 4% a decrease.
Heather Hancock, lead London 2012 partner at Deloitte, said: ‘This research demonstrates that many companies have benefited from London 2012, although the boost in demand hasn’t met the expectations of all.
‘The biggest beneficiaries have been those companies who planned ahead and targeted Olympic visitors.’
Deloitte says 77% of retailers reported an increase in demand from new customers, compared with just 27% reporting an increase from existing customers.
Hancock added: ‘As the heart of London moved east, location has clearly been important, especially for smaller businesses with fewer locations.
‘But for large chains with stores, hotels and restaurants across the capital, opportunities have been there to exploit and it appears sharp, nimble business have responded by changing trading hours and moving staff to service their busiest locations.’
Far more consumer businesses took proactive measures to meet this demand than had indicated they would do when surveyed in January. For example, 68% brought in specific promotions for the Olympic Games period, versus 14% who originally expected to.
Some businesses appear to have been caught out by scarcity of resources such as hotel rooms, with 27% saying this has been a problem, compared to 18% in January.